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18 November, 2015 - 09:22 By Kate Sweeney

Startups rise and high growth businesses thrive in the East

Simon Smith, regional director, Barclays Wealth and Investment Management, East of England

A surge in startups and above-average success for high growth firms have turned the East of England into one of the greatest wealth creating economies in the UK, according to new research from Barclays.

The number of new businesses starting up in the region grew by seven per cent in the year to March 2015 to reach a total of 243,000, logged by the Barclays and BGF Entrepreneurs Index – a bi-annual series tracking the UK entrepreneurial lifecycle.

The boom in the number of businesses echoed a trend seen at a national level, where the number of active companies rose by 3.86 per cent –the biggest rise since the Index began in 2012.

Nationwide, the number of company dissolutions was also lower than in the previous six months – the first time this has happened since the Index began – reversing a three-year trend.

The region is one of only three in the country, along with the South West and Wales, to see a rise in the proportion of high growth companies, with a 0.2 per cent increase in the year to December 2014.

The East of England, which includes the European-leading science & technology cluster, also saw 142 deals resulting in wealth creation of £200,000 or more over the 12 months to the end of June. That’s an increase of 19.3 per cent on the same period previously – the third highest rise in the country, only beaten by the South West and Scotland.

Simon Smith (pictured above), regional director, Barclays Wealth and Investment Management, East of England said: “The East of England is a hub for entrepreneurial activity, largely driven by the tech enterprise zones that have grown up around Cambridge and Norwich and their respective universities. However, activity is not limited to those cities with other counties in the region supporting startup businesses and entrepreneurs.

“Perhaps most encouraging is the fact that not only are more companies starting up, and realising the wealth of their businesses, but the East of England is performing above the national average in terms of high growth companies.

“We now need to ensure this success is sustained, to enable a greater proportion of businesses in the East of England to achieve high growth ambitions.”

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